Economy

Pumwani Hospital, Uhuru Park, KICC among 1,500 properties without titles

Lands CS Farida Karoney

Ministry of Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney. PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney said other prime public properties without ownership documents include Uhuru and Central parks in Nairobi.
  • The lack of this crucial document has exposed prime government land, including those owned by State corporations and public utilities such as schools, to the risk of invasion by private developers.
  • Pumwani Maternity, the biggest referral hospital for delivery of expectant mothers in the four counties forming the Nairobi metropolitan area, has already lost four staff quarters to private developers.

Pumwani Maternity Hospital and the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) are part of 1,500 public properties that have no title deeds.

Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney said other prime public properties without ownership documents include Uhuru and Central parks in Nairobi.

“We have identified 1,500 public parcels of land in Nairobi and it will shock you to know that for years, Pumwani Maternity Hospital, the KICC, Uhuru Park and Central Park have no title documents. We are now starting titling of public land and digitising the records,” Ms Karoney told lawmakers.

The lack of this crucial document has exposed prime government land, including those owned by State corporations and public utilities such as schools, to the risk of invasion by private developers.

Ms Karoney told the Devolution committee of the Senate that the lease for Pumwani Maternity Hospital expired in 2012 and no effort has been made by the Nairobi City County (NCC) to renew it.

Pumwani Maternity, the biggest referral hospital for delivery of expectant mothers in the four counties forming the Nairobi metropolitan area, has already lost four staff quarters to private developers.

The 354-bed capacity occupies more than 10 acres.

MPs heard that other public parcels of land adjacent to the hospital had been illegally allocated to private developers.

Ms Karoney appeared before the Senate team which is investigating alleged illegal evictions of residents from NCC staff housing units by private developers in Pumwani and Eastleigh estates.

She tabled documents indicating that private developers had leased several parcels of public land within Pumwani and Eastleigh under the authority of the Nairobi City County government.

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu said the title deed for the 28-storey building is not registered in the name of KICC, which is a State Corporation under the Tourism ministry.

But the identity of the person or entity in whose name the title deed of the land, which is valued at Sh2.29 billion, is registered was not revealed in the public auditor’s report for 2018/19.

32 acres

Uhuru Park covers a prime area of 32 acres (12.9 hectares) while Central Park is about 20 acres. The two parks are located near the Nairobi Central Business District and border Kenyatta Avenue, Nyerere Avenue and Uhuru Highway.

“We are working in collaboration with the NCC to document and digitise the properties with a specific focus on public land.”

“The titling programme is very slow because of court cases. People dispute whether a particular school own the entire parcel it occupies or part of the land. I will table a comprehensive titling list next week,” she said.

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